The smartwatch market is still relatively new, but is mainly made up of Apple’s Apple Watch that went on sale earlier this year. Android Wear manufacturers have struggled to shift high volumes in comparison to Apple’s and Samsung seemed to have forgotten about the market until it’s latest watch was announced at IFA in September, the Gear S2.
Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to enter the smartwatch market back in 2013. It first announced the original Galaxy Gear towards the end of 2013 and soon after came the Gear 2 and Gear 2 NEO in the first quarter of 2014, the company’s first Tizen watches. Not long after that, the Gear Live was announced alongside the reveal of Android Wear and became the company’s first and only Android wear device to date. Finally in September 2014, Samsung revealed yet another Tizen device, this time a large curved screen watch known as the Gear S, but soon after that it appeared as though Samsung had lost interest in Smartwatches. Fast forward to this September, and Samsung’s best smartwatch yet was announced, with a completely redesigned look and a number of new and improved specs.
Today, the device finally went on sale in China, and its reception has surely impressed the company. The device has managed to sell 180,000 units in just 8 hours, which although doesn’t seem like a very large number considering the market size, is very impressive considering most consumers in China tend to buy cheaper alternatives and overlook more expensive choices. The Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic cost around $350 and $390 respectively in China and, while these prices aren’t through-the-roof, there are cheaper alternatives out there.
Whether or not Samsung can convert this success in China to a global one remains to be seen, but so far customers and critics have been positive about the new device. If Samsung is able to make enough units to meet overall global demand, the Gear S2 range could prove to be the closest challenger to the Apple Watch, which currently dominates the wearables market.
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